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Madness Basic things you can't buy anymore

Why is it always that whenever I actually need to buy something I can't? I know I swing slightly toward the luddite side of the technology scale than the must-have-the-latest-and-greatest-gadget end, but bloody hell, sometimes I just want something basic that works and not some newfangled thing that solves problems I don't have and creates new ones I never anticipated.

Okay, so today's installment focuses on me trying to buy a ladder. That's right, a ladder--a simple contraption that has no moving parts, and I figured is a pretty basic thing I should be able to pick up in any hardware store.

Why do I need a ladder? Well my dad needed to get up on his roof the other day, and took out the half-century-plus wooden ladder than he uses to get up on top of the garage level. (He has an extension ladder to get up on the top of the second story). As I mentioned, this ladder is old, and one of the rungs finally failed. Fortunately, he didn't hurt himself, but he needs a new ladder (because if he doesn't get one, he's just going to fix his old one, and honestly, it's crap shoot as to which rung is going to give way next).

His birthday is coming up, so here's an opportunity to buy him something he needs as a gift, so he can't complain (too much) about (adult) children spending money unnecessarily on gifts. (Which is a whole other rant for another day.)

So I was just online looking at ladders before I headed out shopping tomorrow to pick one up. My criteria are pretty basic: a straight ladder--not a step ladder or an extension ladder or a folding ladder, just a basic ladder roughly 10.5 feet in length. I want it lightweight and durable. This should be easy, right?

Of course it's not. Because simple, straight ladders don't exist any more, or at least they don't in my part of Canada. There are all kinds of fancy folding ones, but apparently nobody sells basic ladder. And to make matters worse, most of the ladders I'm seeing have the skimpiest weight rating imaginable. Because who wouldn't buy a ladder that's barely capable of supporting the weight of a grown man? Do manufacturers not realize that people have to carry what can sometimes be heavy equipment or supplies up and down ladders?

So now I'm stuck without an idea for a birthday gift, and we're looking at the idea of my dad repairing his old ladder, and while he's a fabulous craftsman who can fix anything and make it better, I really hate the thought of him risking life and limb on something that is just plain worn out.

All of this is because something that is basic and has worked for eons is now simply not cool enough or trendy enough or high-tech enough in this day and age when everything has to be smart or over designed or clever in some way, even when they're the complete opposite of clever!
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*standing ovation*
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On the plus side, you've found a niche in the market...why not capitalize on that?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stan laurel View Post
*standing ovation*
Thank you.
I was worried this wasn't ranty enough or filled with enough vitriol to qualify for inclusion in the rant room.

While it may look like there is a market opportunity, maybe it's just that I'm a dinosaur who doesn't deserve to have my needs catered to anymore, hence the market not supporting my purchasing desires. I can just imagine attempting to go into a business I know nothing about and failing miserably because I'm one of the only people left on the face of this earth who would be interested in purchasing straight ladders (or anything else I ever find myself needing to acquire).
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I tried searching "Pole Ladder" and found this site
https://www.ladderstore.com/ladders/...n-pole-ladders
I know it is in the UK but perhaps a similar search might provide an answer.
Another search might be on Scaffold ladder or builders ladder.

I think as far as the DIY market is concerned an extending ladder is more versatile. I have a three part extender and can take it apart and just use one length when I only need to get up a single storey. Hence there is little market for a single section for DIY.
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Not an issue we have here in the U.K.

I can go down any street and nick a set off any white van.

Can’t he separate the extension ladder?

Last edited by Verbout; 18-05-18 at 12:20.
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I wasn't expecting to update this so quickly, but I was compelled to provide this little nugget of information.

I told my brother, who is splitting the purchase of the gift with me (see rant for another day above for the reason why we are doing this) about my inability to find a ladder. Well, after checking all of the same websites I did (because why would he believe me?), he finally found a store that sells ladders. Well, not the actual store, because you can only order them through the merchant's website (which means we won't be able to get one in time for when we need it).

The ladders in question, or at least the ones that fit my dad's required size range, are all fiberglass. So I don't know if that's something he'd like, and since I can't go to the store and look at the (and especially since I have no idea what fiberglass ladders are like), that causes the whole, "what if he doesn't like it, how hard will it be to return it?" quandary.

As for the merchant in question, it's not one of the traditional Canadian hardware/housewares/sporting goods retailers, and it's not one of the big box home renovation/hardware/general contractor/building supply stores. Want to guess what it is? Go on. I dare you.

It's the big box business supplies chain. That's right, the business supply store that no longer carries the type (let alone brand) of glue stick I use, and can't seem to keep paper notebooks or pen refills in stock on their shelves (and is never able to tell me when to expect their restock orders to come in) can sell me a ladder online.

I officially give up.

So does anybody have any experience with fiberglass ladders?

Thanks for your suggestions, TonyGr. I'll widen my search, but I know my local market pretty well and I was hoping just to find a store where I could go and just buy the thing, and know they'd be good about accepting a return if the gift isn't what my dad actually wants, or the ladder is unsuitable in some way.
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I’ve got fibreglass stepladders, they’re made for electricians, non conductive, and they are light.

Fine and dandy about the house and for reaching the lower outside gutters.
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Thanks, Verbout. That's helpful information.
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Don't know of any single ladders, but I've always used an extending ladder and simply separated it for ease of handling, as Verbout suggests. They sell aluminium ones in Toronto (assuming that just might be where you are) and here's an example. Perhaps you've already seen this and it's not what you want.

https://www.lowes.ca/ladders/werner-..._g1193821.html
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sterzo View Post
Don't know of any single ladders, but I've always used an extending ladder and simply separated it for ease of handling, as Verbout suggests. They sell aluminium ones in Toronto (assuming that just might be where you are) and here's an example. Perhaps you've already seen this and it's not what you want.

https://www.lowes.ca/ladders/werner-..._g1193821.html
Thanks, Sterzo.

I did see that one (and similar ones). He's got an extension ladder of a similar type, but generally he doesn't use it because it's too tall (even not extended) and too heavy to move around with any ease. Outside of the sentimental attachment (I suspect) with his old ladder (it was his father's and while I said it was over 50-years-old, it's probably closer to the century mark one way or the other), it was just the right height to reach the roof and it was pretty lightweight and easy to carry. I believe in giving people what they like, and if that type of thing is his preference, then that's what I was hoping to buy as a replacement.
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